In the summer, the ski lifts at the Lake Louise Ski Area become a sightseeing gondola (www.lakelouisegondola.com), taking you for a 14-minute ride to an elevation of 2,088m (6,850 ft.) at the top of Mount Whitehorn, across the wide Bow Valley from the lake. There's a Wildlife Interpretive Centre, as well as guided nature walks. From May to September (in between ski seasons), gondola fees for adults are C$26; children 6 to 15 C$13. Kids under 6 can ride for free.
On the way up the long, winding road from Lake Louise Village to the Chateau and the lake is a left turnoff to Moraine Lake. Don't miss this rough, windy road because the end of it is spectacular! Lake Louise may be on the top of the marquee, but this supporting act is equally stunning -- and much less traveled. Wild and dramatic, Moraine Lake is walled in by a chain of 10 peaks 3,000m (9,843 ft.) high.
The lake is smaller than Louise but has an oddly intimate air, closed in as it is by the mountains on one side and a massive rock slide on another. You can hike a short stretch of lakeside path to the foot of the mountains in about 10 minutes or up a rock pile in about 15 minutes to a lookout for good view. Some of the premiere hikes in Banff begin here, as well. The serenity of this place is amazing, especially if you are here before noon. The lodge also has a lovely restaurant for lakeside dining in this very special place.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.